While I love this blog, I now pretty much only write on my other two blogs: BirdingBlogs.com and 10,000 Birds - I would love to see you there!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

All wildlife is precious so I endeavour to enjoy every moment...


Red Deer, originally uploaded by mcapper.

So goes the headline of a blog I found this morning. Frank's Early Birder blog is, as you might have guessed, about birding. and other wildlife. and plants. in the UK. And he gets to spend his days playing with plants (the fancy shmancy name for that is evidently Horticulture).

But what really got me looking in to his blog was the subtitle. Enjoying every moment.
So often we race about looking for new things to point our eyes at. to ogle through binoculars. to occupy the interests of our macro lens. And all of these activities bring us immeasurable joy. But I sometimes get the feeling that following our desires/hobbies/habits about so often misses the reason why we are out there in the first place.

And so sometimes I leave the binoculars at home, hide the camera from myself, lock the telescope in the cellar, and go out birdwatching. This is the peaceful activity of watching and appreciating birds. I try not to name a single bird (not even in my head). I try not to recognize a single call. I just look at the pretty birdies. I take some time to look at the Goldfinches as they hop about. Place my little hinie on the wet floor and look up at the feeding flock above me.

Sometimes a little Marsh Tit (or Long-tailed Hermit, or African Broadbill) or something cool comes and sits on a branch right in front of my nose and I reach for the camera that is not there. Darn. I say. But then again, now I have the chance to really appreciate the living being in front of me, instead of frantically adjusting aperture settings.

A peace comes over me, and I smile.

The other advantage for the birder in me is that one tends to spend more time really noticing and observing birds. Sometimes I will go out and do serious birding without any optical equipment. This really tests one's skill as now one has to rely on subtle behavioural cues, a soft chirp and "gut feel" to identify what is about. Done often enough, when I do go out with pretty Austrian optical equipment and get a gorgeously large view of the bird, I am way more likely to just know what it is even before I have had a chance to look for the pale spot at the base of the bill.

The Deer photo was taken by Mathew, who has dedicated his life to the conservation and appreciating of birds and other living things.

Happy birding
Dale Forbes

12 comments:

The Early Birder said...

Thank's for the 'plug' Dale. I've just had a quick peek at your pictures & words and like what I've seen - Well done. I will be back as I see you have done a piece on digiscoping - I definitely need more practice. Best Wishes, Frank

Anu said...

very true, Dale.....
ever since i have bought my camera, i am very much aware of how often i look at things with the point of view of taking a photograph... there are times when samhtith tells me... mom stop taking so many pics and listen to me!!!!!

Philip said...

WOW! what a great shot another beautiful blog to my list :))

Born Again Bird Watcher said...

I think the only appropriate thing I can say here is "amen."

Tabib said...

Yes, we do sometime too obsess with camera and thing technical and forget our subject - Nature and God creation.

Matt Latham said...

Beautiful image - really portrays the wild well.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I wonder if it possible to be a photographer of wildlife, birds and insects without appreciating them? I think has has to be a part of you long before you can start taking pictures. A lovely post Dale.

Shady Character said...

I'll often catch myself just standing on a trail, drinking it all in and BEING THERE and, of course, smiling. Then I look around to see if anyone saw me being a nature dork. Getting out and seeing wildlife, flora and fauna, is such a great tonic.

Sindhu said...

Being an admirer of nature, I just stop by anything that is natural to click.

Nice articles and pictures you've got will quench my thirst for visiting foreign lands to see nature in all its colors

Cheers!

Dale Forbes said...

Shady, you are a "nature dork". many of us are. nature dorks are people too!

Sindhu, the beauty of foreign lands is not that they - potentially - have greater Discovery Channel appeal, but that when we are alone (or with a partner) in a strange and foreign place, we are forced to discover more of ourselves ("fend for ourselves"), test our boundaries, and are not just merely allowed to continue our living and seeing style in the way that our home society dictates. Each society has its own societal norms and expectations and when we only ever remain in one place, we never truly - deeply - realise these differences in perception.

And in foreign lands, we are more likely to allow ourselves to be nature dorks, and just enjoy things ;-)

Dale Forbes said...

thank you for all the comments, guys and gals, I really appreciate them!

ANUAR ZAIN said...

You have lots of awesome photos Dale. Fell in love with your blog the first time I saw it! You are awesome yourself Dale, how nice to have all these beautiful critters around you.